Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews -- For those who like their news and truths frank and sharp

The Left must dream but also stop dreaming, Amir Peretz


Dear Amir Peretz,

Yes, poverty in Israel indicates an important government failure. Any serious opposition party should easily focus on it, since somehow the present coalition doesn’t seem to understand that so much poverty is bad, even for the rich.

(After all, if one strengthens — with money, not with tax deductions, because the poor don’t pay taxes — the poor, society becomes more just and stable, which is a rich person’s dream come true. Besides, when the poor get more money, they are going to spend it and the economy is going to improve even more. It’s silly of the Right to neglect the poor; the Left should seize the opportunity to make the case against poverty.) However, it is not enough for the Left to protest, to “be right.” They should aim to win, gain influence and power – not just prepare to be dismissed and rejected for one’s idealistic beliefs.

As soon as a Left-winger stops dreaming of contributing to a better future for all, s/he’s stopped being a Left-winger. Progressives must dream. Yet, that does not mean that Left-wingers must be unrealistic. And I’m not sure that the Israeli Left understands this already.

Reality – like it or not – seems to say:

  1. The vast majority of Israelis are done with the Left. (Thank you for the disastrous Peace Process.)
  2. A democrat cannot blame the population for not voting for their party. The population is always right. If one can’t make one’s case, the politician failed, not the voter. Barak cannot stop saying that the voters are wrong for not liking him.
  3. I’m not sure if all People around the world vote with their wallet/pocketbook (according to what is best for them financially, and not necessarily for what is wisest or morally best – compare but for sure Israelis don’t. Security and hope for safety and quiet are just more important here than being comfortable financially.
  4. Bibi, the capitalist, pragmatist and democrat, is going strong and it seems that he will go strong for years to come. If he would fall, it will not be because of any opposition.

Therefore, though important as it is, no one championing the poor will overtake Bibi. One still should make fighting poverty the core of one’s Left-wing party platform. However, tell the voters that with their support one wants to join the present coalition to influence it for the better for all. Be an alternative that Bibi cannot refuse, that will liberate him from the choke hold of the chareidi parties.

Voters are sick of political parties fighting each other. A constructive approach will draw many votes. “Make Bibi turn Left” would be a good slogan. But “Down with Bibi” is just another Left-wing pipe dream, preparing for one’s own failure, sending the Left for another four years to the reserve bench. Obviously, the more people vote for turning Bibi Left, the more Left he may be turned.

A Left-winger who talks like a realist and pragmatist will do more for the poor and the country than the dreamer and idealist who must complain and accuse and will accomplish nothing but resentment and being pleased with oneself.

Last but not least, a word to the Left in Israel in general. Let’s face it: If the vast majority prefers Netanyahu, and it does, then you speaking bad of (severely ranting about) him is not going to make him less popular. Rather, it’s going to make you even less popular than you are already. What do you want: be sincere and self-righteous or effective in implementing change and improvement?

I’m not the only one who thought so:

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, previously a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He often makes his readers laugh, mad, or assume he's nuts—close to perfect blogging. He's proud that his analytical short comments are removed both from left-wing and right-wing news sites. None of his content is generated by the new bore on the block, AI. * As a frontier thinker, he sees things many don't yet. He's half a prophet. Half. Let's not exaggerate. Or not at all because he doesn't claim G^d talks to him. He gives him good ideas—that's all. MM doesn't believe that people observe and think in a vacuum. He, therefore, wanted a broad bio that readers interested can track a bit what (lack of) backgrounds, experiences, and educations contribute to his visions. * This year, he will prioritize getting his unpublished books published rather than just blog posts. Next year, he hopes to focus on activism against human extinction. To find less-recent posts on a subject XXX among his over 2000 archived ones, go to the right-top corner of a Times of Israel page, click on the search icon and search "zuiden, XXX". One can find a second, wilder blog, to which one may subscribe too, here: or by clicking on the globe icon next to his picture on top. * Like most of his readers, he believes in being friendly, respectful, and loyal. However, if you think those are his absolute top priorities, you might end up disappointed. His first loyalty is to the truth. He will try to stay within the limits of democratic and Jewish law, but he won't lie to support opinions or people when don't deserve that. (Yet, we all make honest mistakes, which is just fine and does not justify losing support.) He admits that he sometimes exaggerates to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * Sometimes he's misunderstood because his wide and diverse field of vision seldomly fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what some love about him. He has written a lot about Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (including basic statistics), Politics (Israel, the US, and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight reality), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA+, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), the Climate Crisis, Ecology and Veganism, Affairs from the news, or the Torah Portion of the Week, or new insights that suddenly befell him. * Chronologically, his most influential teachers are his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, and, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim, Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. This short list doesn't mean to disrespect others who taught him a lot or a little. One of his rabbis calls him Mr. Innovation [Ish haChidushim]. Yet, his originalities seem to root deeply in traditional Judaism, though they may grow in unexpected directions. In fact, he claims he's modernizing nothing. Rather, mainly basing himself on the basic Hebrew Torah text, he tries to rediscover classical Jewish thought almost lost in thousands of years of stifling Gentile domination and Jewish assimilation. (He pleads for a close reading of the Torah instead of going by rough assumptions of what it would probably mean and before fleeing to Commentaries.) This, in all aspects of life, but prominently in the areas of Free Will, Activism, Homosexuality for men, and Redemption. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, and disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed. He aims to bring a fresh perspective rather than harp on the obvious and familiar. When he can, he loves to write encyclopedic overviews. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds should be disputed. In short, his main political positions are among others: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, anti those who abuse democratic liberties, anti the fake ME peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, pro-Science, pro-Free Will, anti-blaming-the-victim, and for down-to-earth, classical optimism, and happiness. Read his blog on how he attempts to bridge any tensions between those ideas or fields. * He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to his parents who were Dutch-Jewish Holocaust survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork. He grew up a humble listener. It took him decades to become a speaker too, and decades more to admit to being a genius. But his humility was his to keep. And so was his honesty. Bullies and con artists almost instantaneously envy and hate him. He hopes to bring new things and not just preach to the choir. * He holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam) – is half a doctor. He practices Re-evaluation Co-counseling since 1977, is not an official teacher anymore, and became a friendly, powerful therapist. He became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years, he was active in hasbara to the Dutch-speaking public. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second-generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having an original peek outside of your cultural bubble. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. * His newest books you may find here: